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The European Union has wandered into the eye of a minefield today after officially declaring that the word scone rhymes with cone, loan and tone and definitely (and legally) does not rhyme with gone, shone or don.

“We are hoping this will bring an end to centuries of conflict” said the EU’s Language Spokesdroid Pierre Lepierre. “I am understanding that there is much stress caused by this dispute and I am happy to be the one who is solving it.”

“This is an outrage” said Desmond Chuck of the British Scone Council. “I don’t want Johnny Foreigner sticking his nose in my scones. Doubt and conflict is healthy and has helped to keep the scone at the forefront of the current cake market. This ruling does not help our cause one bit.”

The Conservative Party have already announced the “Save the Scone That Rhymes With Gone” campaign and appointed Kenneth Clarke to head it. Mr Clarke was said to be “eager” to be involved with so tasty a crusade. “A bit of butter and a bit of jam and I’m anyone’s” he told our lobby correspondent.

“We will not be bowing to pressure” said M Lepierre “and once people start being jailed for not complying with our directive, I think we’ll see a change in public opinion.”

A Shropshire entrepreneur has already opened the first Scone Speakeasy where cake lovers can meet in secret and pronounce “scone” any way they damn well please.

Kenneth Clarke is 41.